Setting: Early Angel season 4
Summary: Lilah has an interesting conversation with Justine in an LA diner.
Author's Notes: Originally written for the Buffyverse1000 challenge, by booster17
EDIT: Bugger - looks like it's already been written, but the Requested Pairings link was still up. *head-desk*
She was sitting in an LA diner, staring out at the beach when Lilah found her.
She sat down in the seat opposite Justine, placing her briefcase on the table top. The contrast between the two of them seemed emphasised somehow in the sunlight flooding through the window. Lilah in her tailored suit, and Justine in a ripped T-shirt and jeans. Justine cast a vaguely curious glance her way and sipped at her coffee.
“In a way, I suppose I’m very disappointed with Wesley,” stated Lilah matter of factly. She was rewarded by Justine almost choking on her coffee. Oh, yes – she recognised her voice alright. “I thought I was the evil one in the relationship. Comes as a bit of a surprise when you find out that your lover has been keeping someone in the closet for several weeks.”
“Look, I…I… Did he send you?” said Justine, who’d gone rather white and carefully placed her almost empty coffee cup on the table.
Lilah laughed. “Oh no, my dear – this is completely on my own. I have rather extensive connections after all.”
Justine swallowed. “I think I’ll be going now,” she managed to say and stood up. Lilah simply held up one hand and gestured. Two large men in ill fitting dark suits appeared at the diner entrance and stood there. Justine looked at Lilah. Lilah stared back coolly, and it was Justine that dropped her gaze first and sat back down.
“Good girl,” said Lilah, casually sipping her cappuccino. “But then you’re used to taking orders now, aren’t you, Miss Cooper?”
Justine just glared sullenly at her. The sunlight fell across Lilah completely bathing her in a pool of light, brightening her outfit and lending it an almost luminescent quality.
“I said, you’re used to taking orders, aren’t you?” Lilah repeated, an undertone of steel present in her voice this time.
“Yes,” muttered Justine. She leaned back into her seat, trying to project an attitude. Her seat was half in shadow, half in the bright sunlight streaming in.
“My, my,” purred Lilah, taking in every detail of Justine with one long sweeping look, “Wesley has done a magnificent job with you hasn’t he? That fire, that spark, so carefully controlled and harnessed for his wants, his needs – and then he threw you away.”
She was rewarded for this, by a flickering ember of hatred that appeared for a millisecond in Justine’s eyes before being damped. “So? I’m free now – I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to,” Justine said, leaning back against the seat and crossing her arms defensively.
“You’re lost now, aren’t you?” queried Lilah, sipping delicately at her cappuccino again. Justine could see the flecks of froth gleaming on Lilah’s upper lip as the sunshine hit them. The whole conversation was somehow starting to feel unreal. Like it was from a fairy tale or something.
“All your life, you were the younger twin,” Lilah continued, “She told you what to do, what to wear, what to say, who to talk to, and you followed her lead. Whatever Julia wanted, you went along with.”
“Leave my sister out of this,” growled Justine, sitting up, her eyes narrowing.
“And then there was Holtz,” carried on Lilah, ignoring the interjection. “He came into your life while you were still in pain from Julia’s death, and turned you into one of his obedient soldiers. He ordered, you marched.”
“I don’t fucking care what those goons of yours think they can do, but I’m leaving now,” snarled Justine, and standing up abruptly.
“Sit. Down And shut up!” snapped Lilah. The two women’s eyes locked, their strength of will meeting in battle. And all Justine could see was the cold, merciless steel gaze boring directly into her.
And then she was sitting down again.
Justine lowered her head and closed her eyes. Her mouth suddenly felt very dry, and she licked her lips nervously. Somehow, she couldn’t say a word.
And Lilah smiled.
“You need someone to tell you what to do,” said Lilah softly, standing up and walking around to stand beside Justine.
“You need orders to follow,” said Lilah even softer, bending down to just beside Justine’s head.
“You need to submit,” said Lilah, whispering softly, directly into Justine’s ear.
“You need me,” Lilah whispered, her breath playing across Justine’s skin, teasing and caressing with promises of safety and understanding and a relief from thinking for herself.
“The other reason I’m disappointed in Wesley,” Lilah breathed, running one hand up and down Justine’s arm, “Is because I’m very partial to people like you. Soft, submissive, and with such a body that makes me long to touch it.”
Justine’s eyes flew open, but she didn’t dare look up or say anything. Did she mean…? But she’d never… But she… With a small frisson of delight that shocked and awed her, she realised that her whole body was trembling slightly. Her nipples were taut and hard, and there was a treacherous warmth between her legs.
Lilah’s mouth moved nearer and nearer to Justine’s ear. “And from the look of things, you want this just as much as I do.” She slowly, delicately kissed and nibbled at the lobe of Justine’s ear, making the trembling of Justine’s body increase.
And then suddenly, Lilah was no longer there.
She was slipping into the seat opposite her again, every inch the prim businesswoman, busy opening her briefcase and taking something out. Justine swallowed, desperate to control her racing pulse, to supress the feelings sweeping through her body, and slowly looked up.
Lilah put two things on the table in front of her: a set of car keys and a pair of handcuffs. Justine stared at them in mute confusion, her head still whirling.
“I’m giving you a choice,” smiled Lilah, “You choose the car keys, there’s a car that they fit parked around the corner from here. You take it. You leave LA. And you don’t ever come back.”
She paused and smiled once more. “Or there’s the handcuffs. You choose them, and you leave with me. I don’t think I have to explain the rest.”
The two branches of her life sat before Justine, gleaming in the bright sunlight. The light refracted dizzily off the sparkling metal, tempting her. The car keys denoting safety, a new start somewhere else in this crazy world. The handcuffs offering freedom from thought, from caring, from hurt.
“Time to choose, Justine.”
And she reached out.